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University of Toronto secures $7.3 million in research grants

There's some good news coming out of the federal government: the University of Toronto has been awarded a total of $7.3 million over the next five years to support eight separate research projects. The money comes via the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), which is the federal government's primary agency for issuing scientific research funds.

The largest grant comes via the Strategic Network Grants (SNG) program, which focuses on supporting research that is likely to have an economic impact on Canada within a decade, and specifically on large-scale collaborative projects that span organizations and disciplines. This $4.4 million grant will go to the Canadian Network for Aquatic Ecosytems, which includes researchers from 11 universities and several government departments, and whose lead researcher is the University of Toronto's Donald Jackson. The network will use the money to investigate how the loss of aquatic biodiversity will affect Canadians—how our services, economy, and industry are changing as a result of environmental stress in aquatic ecosystems. That, said the network in a statement announcing the grant, "will help inform policies on the development of Canada’s natural resources in regions where rapid economic development is underway."

Another $2.9 million will be distributed among seven other projects at the university via a separate grants program. Among the scientists awarded research funds: a chemical engineer studying innovative ways to process pulp and paper mill waste; a materials science researcher exploring efficient light harvesting; and an ecologist examining how to optimize marine protection areas.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
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